Trampolining – it’s great fun, just ask any child in New Zealand! A favourite way to spend time alone or with friends, kids all around New Zealand ask to have a bounce on a trampoline at one time or another.
The laughter and delight on children’s faces is wonderful to see, whether they’re on a trampoline in the backyard or you’ve taken them to a trampoline play centre. But are your children still pretty young and you’re wondering whether they’re ready for their trampolining debut?
So Many Benefits!
Trampolining outdoors is brilliant for everyone, providing fresh air and high energy exercise, therefore increasing cardiovascular fitness. The activity improves balance, coordination, posture and muscle development, while being relatively low-impact on your body.
Trampolining improves concentration, brain and heart health and motor skills (because both sides of the body are used at the same time). Being such a physical exercise, it will release endorphins to boost happiness and can reduce anxiety. Trampolines stimulate the senses, giving the opportunity for lots of movement, but it can also be quite a focused activity and jumping has been found to have a positive effect on impulse control and overall behaviour.
Trampolining is a great way to spend time as a family because people of all ages love to bounce! As a family, when the littlies ones want a go, the older kids and adults are available for supervision.
Indoortrampoline play centreslike Flip Out are fantastic for building social skills with kids as they have the opportunity to mix with others in an interactive activity.
The Question of Age
Along with your child’s age, it is worth considering other factors when deciding on trampolining, such as the size and the type of trampoline they’re using, their usual activity level and the safety measures in place. Are you wishing to buy a trampoline for your home or visit a fully equipped trampoline park like Flip Out?
In New Zealand, there isn’t a specific policy regarding the age children should first use a trampoline, however an article referencing the Paediatric Society of New Zealand suggests a good guideline is to wait until your child is six years of age.
Guidelines in Australia suggest the same, recommending children are older than six years, including the safety labels on trampolines themselves and this study conducted by Kidsafe.
Very young children are unlikely to have the quick reaction time or coordination required to stay safe on trampolines. Also, their little, still fragile bones may not be ready to endure the pressure they are subjected to from repetitive jumping.
Don’t Let your Toddlers Miss Out
The above is important information, but before deciding to exclude your toddler or small child from trampolining, there is other information to think through – after all, little kids are often moving and bouncing and trampolining may still be an option to keep them entertained. There are trampolines available to suit every age and as long as it is safety used and its use is supervised, perhaps you will be comfortable making the decision to let your younger kids enjoy themselves and reap the health benefits.
Observe how your child plays – if they react well to mishaps when undertaking physical activities and rarely sustain an injury, they may very well be able to handle the trickiness and potential hazards of a trampoline.
If you’re lucky enough to have one nearby, visiting a Flip Out trampoline park is a great idea to test trampolines and determine whether your child is coordinated and brave enough to use a trampoline regularly. To put your mind further at ease, trampoline parks ensure all their trampolines are set up with all the necessary safety equipment and have several staff to supervise, providing you with the assurance your precious little ones are bouncing safely.
Once you make the decision that your child is a trampolining candidate and would like to purchase one, do some research on the various sizes and designs for one that is suitable for the age of your child. For toddlers and younger children, mini trampolines are great – they can be set up and used inside your home to ensure close supervision. Some models come with safety bars for the child to hang onto, and some have safety nets around the perimeter.
Safety First for Everyone
As discussed, there are some risks with using trampolines. As is the case with many fun kids’ activities, the common injuries children may acquire on trampolines can be avoided by putting some safety measures in place.
If you decide to house a trampoline in your backyard, padding over the frame and springs provides protection, as do nets around the perimeter.
Regularly check your trampoline’s condition, particularly ensuring that there are no holes or tears in the mat or net, the springs are secure and the frame is still straight and undamaged.
The area under and around the trampoline must be cleared of potential hazards such as garden furniture and fences – just in case your child does fall. Don’t forget to check above the trampoline too, keeping adequate space free of tree branches and clothes lines.
Always climb slowly up onto an above ground trampoline and climb slowly down – no jumping from the trampoline onto the ground!
Good supervision is so important when kids are using trampolines. Monitor that only one child at a time is using the trampoline.
Some basicsafety rules while using a trampoline will keep everyone as safe as possible. If you’re setting up a trampoline at home, here are more safety tips.
After absorbing the relevant information and deciding your kids are old enough and prepared to bounce their way to fun, visit your nearest Flip Out trampoline park where you’ll find not only trampolines, but otherfun kids’ activities – search for local sessions and special programs. With summer on its way, we’re sure you’ll agree Flip Out provides the best holiday activities for kids!